FWC’s Lionfish Challenge Begins as Record Number Spiny Invasive Predators Removed From Florida Waters
By Space Coast Daily // May 26, 2019
FWC’s Lionfish Challenge runs through Labor Day
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – A total of 19,167 of the spiny invasive predators were removed from Gulf and Atlantic waters as part of the Emerald Coast Open, which coincided with the fifth annual Lionfish Removal and Awareness Festival.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission worked closely with the Emerald Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau on both the tournament and the festival.
This tournament may be over but there are still chances to win prizes through the FWC’s 2019 Lionfish Challenge, a removal incentive program that started May 18 on Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day and runs through Labor Day (Sept. 2).
This year, participants who submit the largest and smallest lionfish may be eligible to receive up to $3,000 in cash prizes thanks to support from sponsors: American Sportfishing Association, Yamaha Motor Company, Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County and National Marine Manufacturers Association.
The FWC thanks all the sponsors and organizations that helped make this Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day event a success. Remember, lionfish and other exotic pets that can no longer be cared for should never be released into Florida waters or lands.
Find more details on how to get rewarded for your harvest at FWCReefRangers.com
Emerald Coast Open stats:
• Total removed: 19,167
• Total removed May 18 and 19: 14,119
• Pre-tournament removals starting Feb. 1: 5,048
• Winning Team: Florida Man removed 2,241 lionfish
• Largest lionfish: 17.32 inches by team Killer B’s
• Smallest lionfish: 2.95 inches by team Diamond Diver
• Total number of participants: 189
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO SURRENDER AN EXOTIC PET FOR ADOPTION
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